Cookies have grown a bit since I was little. Actually they have grown a lot. Quite a large amount. And it just might be a good thing to go back to small bites. Delicious little bits of luscious crunch and tastiness, minus the burden of excessive calories and guilt. Small portions, enough for a taste, not enough to make a permanent impact.
So my project for a year is to make some fun little cookies. This is the first post of twelve, each featuring a new cookie recipe and a different way to package them. If YOU have a favorite recipe you would like to share, feel free to send it in, and photos if you have them. I would love to share what other people are doing in the world of small cookies.
Small Cookies #1
RUSSIAN TEA CAKES
For your Mothers – all of them!
The heart and soul of a mother is her child. She loves nothing more than seeing her wonderful child’s face. How I do know this, having enjoyed an untolled number of dreamlike days watching my babies grow, play, learn; go to school, go to college, get married, have babies of their own… and again watch my next round of babies grow… The most wonderful gift for a mother on Mother’s Day is the gift of her child, a gift from her child, a photo of her child. Nothing more is needed.
Here’s a delicious crumbly cookie that children can make with help from an adult or older sibling. These delicate little cookies – my very favorite – are known all over the world. They are called Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, and Greek Kourambiethes. In Austria they are Kipfel; in Bulgaria, Mandulas Kiflik; in Ukraine, Rohlichky. And in the U.S., almond butter balls or snowballs. Use real butter for the full effect.
- 1 -1/2 cups salted butter, very soft
- 4 -1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
- 1 -1/2 cups sliced almonds, roasted
- about ½ box powdered sugar to roll cookies in
- Use two small paper lunch sacks, one inside the other.
- Pour about ½ box of powdered sugar in the doubled bag.
- Place the bag on a large sheet of wax paper or newspaper on the counter.
- Stir together the butter, almond extract and sugar until thoroughly mixed. You do not need a mixer or food processor.
- Then stir in the flour, salt and nuts until well blended.
- Form into one-inch balls (very important that they are all the same size - measure with a ruler as you make them).
- Refrigerate until firm. This is important as it helps keep them from flattening out during baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes or until just barely beginning to turn brown on the bottom.
- Remove from oven, place on counter or wire rack and allow to cool for four minutes.
- Carefully place the cookies in the bag, close the bag firmly and turn the bag upside down, then right side up, to distribute the powdered sugar throughout. Repeat a time or two. Handle the cookies gently or they will break.
- Turn the bag upside down over the large sheet of paper, and gently pour the cookies and powdered sugar out.
- Place the cookies on a tray, and put the remaining powdered sugar back in the bag for the next batch.
- Repeat until all cookies are baked and sugared.
- Allow to cool thoroughly, at least overnight, before packaging.
- Small kraft gift boxes, 3” x 3” x 2” high. The cookies fit perfectly in these boxes if you make the balls of dough 1” round, no larger.
- Tag shape 12, Simple Chevron style, grapefruit
- White satin ribbon
- Wax paper or parchment paper to line the inside of the boxes